The internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last 5-7 years. Despite the current uncertain economic climate with the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK internet plumbing market has continued to grow. With lower prices and added convenience, internet retailers have been able to capitalise on changing consumer cross-channel shopping habits with a notable shift towards online purchases.
It is estimated in 2017 that the vast majority of plumbing products sold on the internet are through specialist online plumbing retailers. Over half of these specialists are pure-play retailers that do not have a showroom and only trade online.
More consumers are purchasing goods and services over the internet. The UK has the highest rate of online purchasing in Europe. With online purchases, there is now a greater expectation of product delivery leads times and cost of delivery. Next day and same day delivery is a key trend. ‘Click and collect’ services are also increasingly popular, implying that whilst ordering online is important to some users, many prefer to collect the product in person.
The future performance of the internet plumbing market is likely to be driven by overall trends in online shopping, technological improvements and levels of consumer confidence and expenditure. However, it is likely that the pace of growth will start to slow as this market matures.